Who May Donate?
UAMS has a need for anatomical donations to provide our students with the best possible education; however, we do not solicit anatomical donations. Anyone who is of sound mind, and at least eighteen years of age, or the legal next of kin or POA of a potential donor can apply for our program. Even after death, legal next of kin or Powers Of Attorney may make an anatomical gift on behalf of the decedent (A.C.A. 20-17-1209).
Is There A Difference Between This Program And Organ Donor Programs?
Yes! This program has no association with organ donor programs — this program deals specifically with donating the entire body.
May I Donate To Organ Bank Programs Before My Body Is Accepted By The AGP?
The only organ bank donation allowed is the cornea. For this you may contact the Arkansas Lions Eye Bank & Laboratory at 4301 W. Markham (Slot 523), Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, by email at email@example.com, or call 501-686-8388 or 501-666-3937. They will provide you with the necessary information.
Unfortunately, no other organ donations are allowed. The procedures involved in removal of such organs are extensive enough to interrupt the blood vessels in such a fashion that it is not possible to achieve the type of embalming necessary for carrying out future anatomical studies.
Are There Cases In Which A Body Is Not Acceptable For Anatomical Donation?
Yes. The AGP may decline a donor who may not be suitable for educational purposes. There are a number of situations that may lead to either a previously enrolled anatomical donor or a potential anatomical donor not being accepted, including:
- Highly contagious diseases at the time of death, such as hepatitis
- Deceased with advanced decomposition
- Previously embalmed or autopsied bodies
- Bodies more than moderately overweight (>250 lbs.) Or emaciated
- Height greater than 6’4”
- Extensive injury to the body or internal organs (e.g., motor vehicle accident, cancer, severe deformity)
- Minor under 18 years old
If the UAMS Anatomical Gift Program determines that the body is unusable for these or other reasons, survivors will need to make other arrangements for the body’s final disposition. UAMS will not be responsible for any costs associated with other arrangements.
Will My Family Or I Be Paid For The Donation Of My Body?
No. United States Laws specifically prohibit paying persons for human bodies or internal organs. The UAMS Anatomical Donation Program is a “Whole Body” program that follows both state and federal legislation (i.e., Revised Arkansas Anatomical Gift Act and Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act ([A.C.A. 20-17-1201 et. Seq]).
What Expenses Will My Family Or I Have To Pay?
There are no costs incurred for the AGP at UAMS. If death occurs at one’s home or in a hospital without a morgue, a local funeral home must be contacted to pick up and hold the body in cold storage. The funeral home will charge the family for any services performed. Under certain circumstances, if death occurs in a hospital with an in-house morgue, the body may simply be placed in the morgue. In this case the family will bear no expenses.
What About A Viewing Or Funeral Upon My Death?
The UAMS AGP must be notified immediately so that pick up of donor can be as soon as possible. Due to the fact that we are on a time restraint, a viewing or traditional funeral will not be allowed if you or your loved one are whole body donors.
What Happens To My Body After Studies Are Completed?
Donor remains are cremated at an Arkansas state licensed crematory. After cremation, if it is requested that we do so, the ashes (cremains) will be returned to the family. Otherwise, the ashes will be buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery, Alexander, Arkansas.
There may be an occasion when the donation provides a unique educational opportunity for our students. On such occasions, the UAMS AGP reserves the right to retain a portion of the donation for archival purposes in order to provide unique teaching opportunities for our future students. Archiving of such specimens will be inclusively retained by UAMS.
What If I Change My Mind After I Have Agreed To Donate My Body?
You can rescind your gift of anatomical donation at any time prior to death by notifying us by phone (501-686-7019) or email (AGP@UAMS.edu), so that we may change our records. No questions will be asked.
What Do I Need To Do To Donate My Body To The Uams Anatomical Gift Program?
If you are interested in donating your body, you must be of sound mind and at least 18 years of age (there is no upper age limit) with UAMS Anatomical Gift Program paperwork on file before your passing. These forms require your signature and the signatures of two witnesses. UAMS Anatomical Gift Donors will be provided with a yellow wallet card that signifies they are enrolled in our program.
UAMS can also accept anatomical donations from both living individuals unable to fill out the donation paperwork and deceased persons who are not signed up at time of death with the AGP. The paperwork would need to be completed by individual ascribed with durable power of attorney for health care. If a durable power of attorney for health care is not in place, donation of behalf of the deceased may be made by next of kin or executor.
Can My Body Donation (Bequest) Be Made As An Addition To A Will?
Yes, along with completion of all UAMS AGP paperwork.
Who Should A Donor’s Next Of Kin, Executor, Or Agent Notify Of A Donor’s Death?
He/she should contact the donor’s physician. If not reached, contact the county coroner’s office or police department. Once the proper authorities have been notified, please call the UAMS Anatomical Gift Program at 501-686-7019 or the on call number 501-686-7000 and ask for the Anatomical Gift coordinator on call.
Once we are notified transportation of the deceased can be arranged. Someone from the UAMS Anatomical Gift Program will be on call 24 hours a day to receive notification. In the event you pass away at a facility that does not have cold storage it is the responsibility of the surviving family to contact a funeral home to do the removal and keep in cold storage until we are able to pick up. Those charges from the funeral home will be the responsibility of the family.
Who Do I Contact If I Have Further Questions?
Please call the UAMS Anatomical Gift Program at 501-686-7019 or send email to AGP@UAMS.edu.